May tavern closing be wakeup call for other trouble spots

An established neighborhood in Williamsport’s East End has been the host to three tragic shootings in recent years.

The origins of the violence have been traced to a bar on Franklin Street, a tavern that was not a problem until the clientele changed late in the past decade.

The clientele will have to find somewhere else to go, or, better yet, perhaps the troublemakers will get the hint that they are not welcome here. District Attorney Eric R. Linhardt announced last week that the Port Tavern at 835 Franklin St. has been permanently closed.

The tavern was deemed a “public nuisance” last spring following a string of criminal incidents. Residents living in fear from unsafe, loud and dangerous behavior filed 13 written complaints regarding the establishment. Assaults, public intoxication, disturbances and destruction of property were all too frequent.

A health code violation led to the closure of the bar in March, the DA met with the owners, filed an injunction to keep the bar closed and the owners eventually agreed to sign a new deed that will prevent the address from ever acting as a liquor establishment again.

City police officials are hoping the closure of the tavern will serve as a “wake-up call” to other bars in the city.

Cities are built one neighborhood at a time. They can be destroyed one neighborhood at a time.

That doesn’t mean there can’t be places for public enjoyment in our neighborhoods. Those places just can’t allow their area to be overcome with lawlessness.

We are glad to see the residents were heard in this proud part of residential Williamsport.